A few months ago... -- We were driving our way back from the temple on a Sunday. The kids were sleeping in the back seat. Suddenly I saw a dude on the side of the road, waving like he's trying to get a ride. The road was a main highway, and the cars were going way too fast. By the time I had spotted the guy, and thought about picking him up, we had passed him and he was already getting small in my rear view mirror. I said to my wife, "Did you see that guy?" "Yeah... I thought he looked like a white dude..." "I thought so too... should we go pick him up?" "It's up to you." So I turned around and went back to the spot, and thought to myself, 'Who hitch-hikes these days?' The guy was still standing at the same spot. I pulled over to the side, and opened the window. "Do you need a ride?" "Yes..." "Then get in." "Thank you!" And he hurrily got in the car. "Where are you going?" "I'm trying to go to Kon Kaen (name of a city in Thailand)." And he showed me a map, which I easily recongnized. And he told me, "Thank you very much, but I cannot pay you coz I have no money." "Don't worry about it man. Just tell me, what are you doing exactly?" "Um... I'm... trying to hitch hike my way back to Russia." "Russia?! You kidding me?!" "Yes. Russia. St. Petersburg, to be exact. And no, I'm not kidding you... I've done this before... last year. And I loved the experience so much, I'm doing it again." And he told me his incredible journey... He arrived in Thailand by plane, which landed in the southern island of Phuket. From there, he planned to hitch hike his way back to St. Petersburg, crossing Thailand, Laos, and China. The distance to cover was 15,000 Kilometers. (about 10,000 miles) The time it took for him to finish his journey last time, was 3 months. And the most amazing thing about his journey was.... that it costed him only 200 US Dollars... And that's including the air ticket to Thailand... which was the most expensive part of his trip... On the road, he spent only 100 US Dollars for THREE months. I thought it was incredible... He said he never paid for places to sleep. He would just find a temple and sleep there, or if he was in a village, he would almost always be offered a place to spend the night by one of the local villagers. And if he really couldn't find a place to sleep, he just slept on the side of the road. Thailand is such a... nice country. People just let foreigners sleep in their houses... and give them food... and give them whatever they might need to continue on with their journeys. The people are kind here... but only because he's a white dude. If he was black, they wouldn't even give him a second look. But since it's the white man... they are so eager to help... coz they're so curious... and fucking racists. Anyway... I thought it was quite incredible, that a man can travel across the globe without spending any money, just because he was a white dude. If a black dude tried to do that, I don't think he'll make it. -- I asked the guy, "What do you get out of all this?" And he said, "I get to feel the feeling of having nothing." -- After about an hour of driving and talking, we got to a point, where I wanted to drop him off, because I thought it was a good spot for hitch hiking. We exchanged our email addresses, and said good byes. And before we left, I took a picture of the dude... And I decided to call him... a FREE MAN. - - I decided to call him a FREE MAN, not only because he was free like the wind, coming and going as he pleases, with nothing to tie him to the ground, but he was also a free man in a sense that he got everything for free. Free lodging... free food... free ride... And I thought... it sure is good to be a white dude.